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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh announced another major gift toward the University’s pride. purpose. promise. capital campaign resulting in the creation of the Anne Burns Hillenbrand Family Endowed Scholarship Program. The $600,000 endowment, created by the family of Oshkosh resident Anne Burns Hillenbrand, provides a four-year full tuition scholarship and fellowship each year for one student. By 2010, four students will be studying at UW Oshkosh thanks to the scholarship, which is one of the largest scholarship endowments in the University’s history.

“This gift makes a significant impact in the lives of many deserving students,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “It is also another exciting step forward for our pride. purpose. promise campaign, which seeks to raise $2.2 million in endowed scholarships, affording more students the opportunity to attend college and earn a valuable degree.”

To complement the full tuition scholarship, the endowment provides paid fellowship opportunities through the University’s Center for Community Partnerships (CCP). Hillenbrand Fellows will work a minimum of 10 hours per week in professional work experiences that enhance their academic preparation. Combined with the scholarship, the fellowship opportunity provides recipients with the opportunity to earn four-year degrees at no cost to the student as well as gain valuable practical experience through the fellowship experience — a $50,000 value.

The first scholarship was awarded for Fall 2007.

“This scholarship affords the unique opportunity for a student to bridge academic knowledge and ‘hands-on’ professional experience,” said Arthur Rathjen, UW Oshkosh Foundation president. “We are deeply honored that Anne’s children have chosen UW Oshkosh.”

The scholarship is also unique in that it was created to honor a living namesake. A mother of six children, Anne was widowed at age 37. Her strong educational background proved to be a wise investment in meeting those challenges. With courage, skill and humor, Anne not only continued her extensive volunteer activities with organizations such as Mercy Medical Foundation and Lourdes High School, but also was licensed in multiple states as a life insurance counselor for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. She guided her six children as they earned bachelor’s degrees; several also hold master’s degrees.

The Anne Burns Hillenbrand Family Scholarship Program recognizes that the value of an undergraduate degree increases significantly when accompanied by a practical, real-world experience in a professional environment. It will be awarded to an incoming, full-time freshman with a strong academic record and a need for financial aid.

“Her quest always was ‘How can we make things better?’ We think that Oshkosh is a better community because of her,” said Roch Hillenbrand of his mother, Anne. “Hopefully, the recipients will use this educational experience to improve their odds for success in life and also remember to give back to the community when they have a chance.”

Scholarship applicants must exemplify the values that the fund celebrates, including outstanding character, commitment to family and community, courage to take on challenges, a sense of humor and objectivity.

“Our hope for the recipients of Mom’s scholarship is that they will learn not just academically, but they will learn to recognize opportunity and that recognition is just the start. You must then use perseverance, versatility and, above all, a sense of humor,” said Karola Jungbacker, Anne’s daughter.